Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Henry Lee

She leaned herself against a fence
just for a kiss or two
and with a little pen knife
held in her hand
well she plugged him through and through
and the wind did roll
and the wind did moan
     --Nick Cave & PJ Harvey, Henry Lee

I sang to myself. After he finally slept that weird, rubbery sleep.

I don't know why, exactly. Just a little tune I made up. I make them all up, of course.

I always thought people in my position would be more anxious. Crazed. (Except for psychopaths. You never know what psychopaths are going to do. Or what's in their head. For all you know, they could rub their nipples with mint ice cream and celebrate.) I don't like mint ice cream especially.

I just sang to myself as my pounding heartbeat faded. Just me and wind. And some pretty trees. I had wiped my hands on the grass. Making them green and the grass red. When I sing, I'm not the same kind of alone.

I understand now. That's the bottom line. Those are the secret lyrics between my melodies. Sometimes you just can't suffer a thing to happen. Plain and simple. It's a point of decision. Either you continue (and someone else does not), or someone else continues, and you do not. I'm just not the kind of person to be the loser. Yes, I shouldn't have loved him. Of course, that's the case. You would probably say that I couldn't have loved him at all. Because how can you harm someone you love? Oh, but you can. And you do. Love is a different word when it's used in the Bible.

So I understand. It was going to be me, or him. Because you know what you're prepared to suffer. If he left, the rage in me would have torn a hole in my brain. I would have turned inside and clawed the life right of me. This way, I'm calm. Very nicely calm. I sing a song of peace under these trees.

He probably doesn't like the tune.

Despite the rubbery ease on his face.

At least he'll be safe here. And I won't have to face...the horror, of hating him.



the walking man said...

Pretty intense for such a light tone. I hope she did him outside in the woods then the animals can feed and scatter him about a bit. Forage is getting hard to find. You never know though, what is in the mind of a psychopath.

Aine said...

Yes, it hurts to hate. (This is why I choose to not hate. Ultimately it's all about me.)

I love this: When I sing, I'm not the same kind of alone. I think it all comes back to loving yourself. Everything we see in others is just a reflection of what we see in ourself, otherwise we wouldn't recognize those things in them.

You've captured such a profound truth for this character-- she can't find peace within herself until she "kills" those aspects (of her) that she doesn't want to accept. And since she's not aware that it is actually herself whom she hates, she projects that hatred onto him and concludes that she must make him go away. Sadly, I think she'll find that she still hasn't found the peace she craves. She'll still experience the "horror of hating him" (love that line, too!), because she didn't hack away at the true source of that hate.

Oddyoddyo13 said...

Me thinks they were a psychopath...I'm looking for the mint ice cream.

jason evans said...

Walking Man, that would be less wasteful, indeed. I was intrigued by the song, the story beyond just the quotes lyrics. This was my little imagining of the aftermath. Someone who would kill a person in this context would have to be quite off, I think. I imagined it as a calm.

Aine, I really like your deconstruction of the motives and emotions and implications! A moment like this one is the pinnacle of a personality showing its breaking points. Maybe we understand ourselves best when we try to extrapolate our own.

Oddyoddyo13, I love that! Yes, methinks she doth protest too much.